Now that 2013 is behind us, it is time to reflect on our best and worst moments last year and use those experiences to make this year one that sets the bar; here’s how:
- Get Involved. Volunteer at a non-profit organization of your choice, contribute to help within your community or become part of an advisory board with your college. Taking on special projects or participating in fundraising activities will help you to develop new skills and abilities which will increase your value within your current organization or allow you to seek new opportunities. Volunteering helps to interact with a diverse range of people, which can also heighten your interpersonal skills.
- Network, Network, Network! Find at least 2 events each month that you make a priority to attend. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair where you spend tons of time and money trying to piece together a new outfit, plan for the babysitter or re-arrange your entire life. Many business networking events are scheduled during the week; such as a business-breakfast, brunch, luncheon or happy hour. Find something that works for you and plan accordingly.
- Seize the opportunity. How many times have you let an opportunity slip away and beat yourself up over it later knowing that you could have done more? Well this year, there will be no regrets. You must see opportunity in everything you do and everywhere you go. Make it a priority to connect with someone on a more intimate level, present a new idea to management or even start your own business! Whatever you decide to do, do it with boldness and narrow focus.
- Read More. Stay up to date on industry trends and news by subscribing to a local or national newspaper. Read your Bible, a few new books or subscribe to magazines or newsletters related to your current work or an industry you are interested in pursuing. Reading can be beneficial when networking as well. For example, things you have read can become ice-breakers or may allow you to take part in a conversation you wouldn’t normally have contributed to.
- Exercise/Implement Better Eating Habits. I know some of us dread this part, and I’m beginning to question myself on why I hadn’t decided to put this at the end of the article to avoid losing readers! If you are still reading this, it means you are have sense enough to know that exercise and healthy eating increases the odds of longevity and greatly impacts your overall lifestyle in a positive way. You’ll want to live longer once you conquer 2014 so get started now!
- Stand Up and Stand Out. Let people know who you are and what you are about. These behaviors must be inclusive in your daily conversation and interaction with others. Exchanges containing personal values such as diversity, religious beliefs, integrity and community tend to be more genuine and memorable. Don’t be swayed by the politics of the corporate world. Remain consistent and firm while being empathetic and understanding to differences of opinion. These leadership traits create an atmosphere of admiration inside and outside the organization.
- Travel More. Now I know you may be thinking; when will I have time to travel when you have given me this arduous list of things to do this year? Well my dear inquiring reader, it is absolutely possible. We must make time for things that are important and there is nothing more important than spending time with those you love, rejuvenating yourself and getting the most out of life. I’ve never heard of a dying man uttering “I wish I would have worked more” as last words. Your career is not a characteristic, it is an occupation. Reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in and take a break. Take is the operative word here because no one can make you do what is best for you; you must make the decision to do that for yourself.
I’m certain these tips will help you to make 2014 devoid of regret and full of enrichment!
All the best,
Mary V. Davids
Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.